One decade after they became a couple, these college sweethearts made it official with a beautiful celebration overlooking the Hudson River.
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Fate has played a big part in Jessica Rello and Brian Glanzberg's relationship. The New Jersey-raised couple "officially" met in math class on their first day of high school, but childhood photos show that the couple attended the same summer camp when they were just four or five years old. Regardless of when they first met, their relationship didn't really begin until their freshman year at Syracuse University. They were living just a few floors apart in the same dorm, and, as Brian recalls, "We hung out the first night of school and honestly I don't think I have been able to get her out of my head since."
An eight-year romance blossomed, and the couple moved to New York City after college (she works in advertising and he's in finance). Over the course of their relationship, the couple traveled to many beautiful spots together, but it was during a vacation in Vieques, an island off the coast of Puerto Rico, that Brian decided to take the next step. There, Brian got down on one knee and asked Jessica to marry him. After an elated "Yes!" from his bride-to-be, the pair celebrated with a sunset dinner.
Jessica and Brian were married on September 23, 2017, a Saturday evening that just so happened to be their ten-year anniversary. On the big day, 240 guests gathered at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York. After seeing the venue (and 22 others) Jessica knew it was the one. "We always knew it was perfect, I just wanted to make sure nothing else out there could beat it—and nothing ever did. If I could do it all over again and get married anywhere in the world, I would still choose Sleepy Hollow; it was perfect." Adds Brian, "It was the perfect mix of outdoor location with a beautiful elegant estate feel. The views were incredible."
With their dream date and venue in place, the pair dreamed up a classic, romantic, and elegant day with an old-world vibe. Lush greenery, warm golden tones, and lots of textural details made the formal celebration extra special.
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The Gorgeous Stationery
Jessica and Brian tapped Written Word Calligraphy to design their invitation suite. The invites were pressed in champagne foil, the details card had a hand-drawn illustration of the venue, and the outer envelope was finished off with a custom wax seal with the couple's initials on it.
Jessica sourced vintage postage from VerdeStudio to add a bit more personality to the suite. She ended with four different stamp arrangements.
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With This Kiss
The couple shared a kiss on the perfect early fall day. "People asked us how we 'ordered the weather,'" Jessica says. They couldn't have asked for better weather—the temperature was in the mid-80s without a cloud in the sky. Taking portraits before the ceremony allowed them to enjoy cocktail hour after their sunset ceremony.
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Jessica tried on 100 different wedding dresses, as she had a very specific vision for what she wanted her gown to look like. The first time she saw this Vera Wang dress, it checked almost all of her boxes. The only downside was the original gown's high neckline. Although the salon's seamstresses were able to modify the design to make the dress strapless, the bride-to-be had to spend months envisioning what the final result would look like, as the gown had to be produced with its intended neckline, then cut later. Luckily, her instinct was right, and the light ivory mermaid gown with hand-placed Chantilly lace appliqués ended up being the dress of her dreams after that small adjustment.
To finish her look, Jessica worked with Girl With a Serious Dream to create a veil with floating lace roses to complement her dress. The cathedral-length stunner served as her "something new."
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The Stunning Bouquet
The bride worked closely with Victoria Ahn of Designs by Ahn to nail the aesthetic of the wedding. Her bouquet was comprised of quicksand roses, anemones, garden roses, astilbe, ranunculus, and greenery.
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Just as she did with her own dress, Jessica considered plenty of different gown options for her bridal party, which was made up of family members and close friends. "I wanted my girls to look and feel really beautiful," she says. "I felt like nothing I was seeing was special enough. It turns out if you are looking for the perfect champagne silk slip dresses you just need to go to London." They ordered the floor-length gowns directly from Ghost London and Jessica loved how they looked.
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A Family Affair
The bride's sister, an editor at Martha Stewart Weddings, served as her maid of honor. On the big day, she lent her support in a hands-on way (including helping her sister carry her train and veil down the venue's curved staircase).
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The groom wore a bespoke, shawl-collared tuxedo from Sebastian Grey (the wedding date was embroidered under the lapel), Ferragamo shoes, and his grandfather's watch. The groomsmen wore tuxes from The Black Tux, with custom bow ties by Sebastian Gray, which were embroidered with their initials. As a fun finishing touch, the couple gifted each groomsman headless horseman patterned socks as a nod to their venue.
Guests arrived in black-tie attire, too. These guys, friends of the groom, attended the day in their wedding best.
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The Little Ones
The bride's cousin's children served as the couple's youngest attendants. Sophie and Stella, in dresses from BHLDN, stole the show as flower girls, and their brother, Luke, who is also Jessica's godson, was the adorable ring bearer. "The girls have been flower girls a few times but only in church weddings where they were not allowed to drop petals," Jessica explains. "I knew they were excited when I told them they were going to toss flower petals but I never knew why. As they got to the ceremony chairs, I quickly understood. They began pelting people with flowers. They took the word 'toss' literally and threw petals like baseballs. It was so funny; our guests were hysterical. It was a nice comedic relief to break up the emotional crying that was happening."
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From the ceremony site, guests were treated to a panoramic view of the Hudson River. Designs by Ahn created the floral arch, which was covered with lush white blooms and copious amounts of greenery, that was set just below the venue's sprawling oak tree. "The sun set slowly throughout the hour, giving us the most gorgeous backdrop for our ceremony and an amazing golden sky for cocktail hour," Jessica says.
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Here Comes the Bride
Brian entered to Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love" played by a string quartet. The bridal party followed to Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years," and then it was time for the bride and her father to make their way down the aisle. Jessica chose her processional song early on in the wedding planning process, but kept it from Brian as a surprise. When the quartet's rendition of "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat began, he instantly recognized it as their first song from the early years of their relationship. "Although I had already seen her for photos, I think standing alone waiting for Jess was the most powerful thing," Brian says. "Seeing her smile it instantly hit me how special that moment was."
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Because the bride and groom grew up practicing two completely different religions, they wanted their ceremony to have a spiritual foundation without heavily leaning into either faith. A family friend officiated, and he successfully blended together their two backgrounds and infused their ceremony with plenty of personalization. The couple also had a close friend read an excerpt from "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho.
Jessica and Brian exchanged vows they penned themselves. They laughed and they cried and agree they wouldn't have wanted it any other way. "I'm the writer of the family, but I think he stole the show," Jessica says.
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Everyone with aisle seats tossed petals at the newlyweds as they recessed to "Marry You" by Bruno Mars. The upbeat tune kicked off the party.
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Cocktail hour is one of the couple's favorite parts of a wedding so they really went all out for theirs. Guests enjoyed a raw bar, an antipasto station, a sushi and dumpling station, and a ballpark station, plus music performed by a saxophonist and pianist.
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Find Your Seat
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The Tented Reception
The couple's tented reception took place on the lawn, so guests were once again treated to beautiful river views. The two 20-person rectangular head tables anchored the space, with round tables filling the rest of the room. One of the bride's favorite details was the greenery-covered light fixtures hanging overhead. But it was the combination of the assorted décor elements—flax-colored linens, ivory taper candles in gold candlesticks, gold mercury glass votive holders—that made the space so beautiful.
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The centerpieces were comprised of a mix of different flowers, including anemones, roses, dahlias, and hydrangea. Their bronzed compotes added an extra dose of muted color and texture to each of the reception tables.
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That Was Cloche
Instead of traditional paper options, the couple asked Kelsey Malie Calligraphy to pen table numbers on glass cloches.
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Brian bought Jessica a vintage typewriter for Christmas a few years earlier, and the couple knew they wanted to incorporate it into the wedding but weren't sure how at first. Ultimately, they decided to use it as a clever spin on the traditional guest book. "We have some funny notes from people that are really fun to read," Jessica says. "We are adding them to the back of our wedding album."
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Dancing with Dad
Affinity NYC performed during the reception. After the couple shared their first dance to Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is," the bride and her father took to the floor to the tune of "Lullabye" by Billy Joel. Jessica says the song was especially meaningful because her father used to play the tune for her when she was a little girl.
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Nine Cakes created the couple's gray marbled wedding cake, which was covered with deckled-edged fondant and gold edging. Inside, vanilla cake was layered with salted caramel buttercream. Two groupings of sugar flowers (inspired by the fresh blooms throughout the day) adorned the four-tier confection.
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Many of the couple's friends and relatives were celebrating birthdays the week before and after their wedding, so they wanted to honor them in some way. They ordered a birthday cake from Momofuku Milk Bar for the occasion, complete with candles. "We had the band play 'Birthday' by the Beatles and called them all up to blow out the candles on the cake. They all are were so surprised—it was really cute," Jessica says. But the sweet surprises didn't end there. The couple also ordered additional sheet cakes from Momofuku, which were sliced and boxed for guests to take home as favors.
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And if guests weren't fans of cake, there were other dessert options available. The couple surprised their guests with Dairy Queen Blizzards on the dance floor. Flavors like cookie dough (the bride's favorite), Reese's peanut butter (the groom's favorite), and cookies and cream were tray-passed for attendees to enjoy.
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The Cigar Bar
A cigar bar (the stogies were outfitted with custom cigar bands with the couple's names and wedding date) was set up during the reception as many of the wedding guests (including the groom's father) have an affinity for cigars. Custom matchboxes read "A Match Made in Haven Hall," a nod to the dorm the couple lived in when they first started dating.
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Lots of Light
Once the sun officially set, glowing candles lit up the venue's lawn. Jessica had seen a photo of candles lining the stairs to another stately building and used it as inspiration for her own wedding setup.
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At the end of the night, the couple honored a Thai custom they learned about during their time studying abroad in college. "Brian ordered wish lanterns for the proposal and we set one off the night we got engaged," Jessica says. "We knew we wanted to incorporate them into our wedding, but many of the venues we looked at wouldn't let us do them (for safety reasons)." Sleepy Hollow was the only venue that gave the couple the green light and they were able to set off their first lantern as husband and wife in front of all their family and friends.
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Photography, Abby Jiu Photography
Location and Catering, Sleepy Hollow Country Club
Flowers, Designs by Ahn
Day-of coordinator, Polka Dot Events
Videography, Hello Super Studios
Music, Affinity NYC
Brides gown, Vera Wang
Bride's hair, Face Time Beauty
Bride's makeup, Stacie Ford Weddings
Bridesmaids' dresses, Ghost London
Bridesmaids' hair, Emily Wallis
Bridesmaids' makeup, Mary Wallis Makeup
Groom's tuxedo and bow ties, Sebastian Grey
Menswear, The Black Tux
Groom's shoes, Ferragamo
Ice Cream, Dairy Queen
Flower girl dresses, MaeLi Rose
Cigars, Tatuaje Cigars
Rings, Hartgers Jewelers